GRUDGE MATCH: Isaac Smith of the Hawks in action during the round nine clash between Hawthorn Sydney at the MCG.
GRUDGE MATCH: Isaac Smith of the Hawks in action during the round nine clash between Hawthorn Sydney at the MCG. JULIAN SMITH

Swans and Hawks fighting for an edge

AFL: Hawthorn will be looking to gain a mental advantage over premiership rival and old sparring partner Sydney when they clash at the SCG on Thursday night.

The teams sit one and two on the ladder after the Hawks remained a game clear of the pack with a sixth straight victory, over Port Adelaide, and the Swans toppled Geelong at home.

The teams have met in two of the past four grand finals and are on track to play off again for the flag.

“If you win you’ve probably got the psychological edge the next time you go in,” Hawks wingman Isaac Smith told reporters yesterday.

“Hopefully we meet again in September, because they always seem to be great challenges.”

The Swans should have ruckman Kurt Tippett back by finals after surgery on his hamstring tendon, with the big man running laps at Swans training yesterday.


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